* Daniel Gordis reflects on the soldiers’ return and Thursday’s bus attack in a moving column: Coming Home
Adi Avitan, Benny Avraham and Omar Souad came home today. But they came home to a very different country than the one from which they were stolen. A country that’s been at war for three years. A country that when they were killed was just weeks post-Camp David, when we thought that virtually anything and everything was possible. To a country that no longer yearns for a peace that we suspect will not be, but still hopes for the sort of quiet that we had for a while. Until this morning.
* Jerusalem Post reporter Eric Schechter was wounded ‘moderately’ in Thursday’s attack. So we understand better what news reports mean by this designation, here’s Schechter’s diagnosis:
In Schechter’s case, “moderate” wounds are a broken left knee and a severed vein in the calf below it; puncture wounds in his right leg and back, from slices of metal packed into the explosives; a broken shoulder suffered on impact when the blast threw him from one part of the bus to another; lungs and spleen contused by the force of the explosion; and singed eyebrows from the blistering heat.
* JPost’s editor-in-chief Bret Stephens was at the scene of the attack: Jerusalem, 8:45 am
I doubt many reporters have actually witnessed a suicide bombing up close – indeed, not many Israelis have. After today, I know there is a basic difference between what one sees in the first five or ten minutes and what one sees in the next 20 or 30 minutes. Most of the reporters who “covered” the bombing did not actually see the corpses on the ground. They do not know about the body convulsing in the bus. What they saw was a bus blown to smithereens, which is awful enough, while the rest was left to their imaginations. But if you haven’t seen it before, you cannot imagine it. You don’t have a clue. If I learned one thing today, it is this.
* Haaretz’s Danny Rubenstein on Law and Order in the PA:
The fact that Thursday’s suicide bomber in Jerusalem was a traffic policeman from Bethlehem and a member of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade says something about the state of that movement, which has long been considered the ruling party of the Palestinians. In some parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the Brigades operate as gangs of local hoodlums who have almost completely severed ties with the senior members of the movement crowded into Arafat’s headquarters in Ramallah.
* Washington Post reports on Israeli survivors of terror in rehab. According to this, 3,000 Israelis have been injured in suicide bombings alone. Includes interviews with a good number of people, including a teen who has undergone 26 operations since the Dec. 2001 bombing of Cafe Rimon.